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PartTimeGamer93

Substituting Characteristics

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Hello, all. Been a while since I've been an active member, but I've come across an interestinf question

I have a Player who wants to substitute Agility for Brawn in relation to his Melee and Brawl skills. As he describes it, his character uses finesse to engage in close quarters combat as opposed to brute force, essentially using his opponents' weight, momentum, and balance against them. Off the bat, I am not opposed to this as a narrative effect, but I am a little concerned about further effects, rules-wise. As a balance, he has offered to sacrifice his ability to purchase ranks in Ranged: Heavy and Gunnery.

What do you guys think?

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In the “Force and Destiny” beta book, each Career has a combat-oriented Specialty with a talent available to you to do just that with the Lightsaber skill (which is normally based on Brawn).

You could follow a similar model, but I wouldn’t make it too easy to get that Talent.

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Hello, all. Been a while since I've been an active member, but I've come across an interestinf question

I have a Player who wants to substitute Agility for Brawn in relation to his Melee and Brawl skills. As he describes it, his character uses finesse to engage in close quarters combat as opposed to brute force, essentially using his opponents' weight, momentum, and balance against them. Off the bat, I am not opposed to this as a narrative effect, but I am a little concerned about further effects, rules-wise. As a balance, he has offered to sacrifice his ability to purchase ranks in Ranged: Heavy and Gunnery.

What do you guys think?

If it is a narrative effect why is the mechanical change to the rules necessary?  I smell power gaming inbound.

 

I don't buy that natural finesse translates to innate skill with Judo.  I think what he is describing is a high level of skill in Brawl, not a high agility.  I think he is just trying to come up with a sneaky pete way to min/max his hand to hand skill and Range(L) abilities.

Edited by 2P51

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Personally, brawn covers everything athletic, including fitness, strength and personal agility. Essentially a guy or lass with a high brawn doesn't have to be an absolute beefcake, but has incredable personal fitness that allows them to roll with the blows, strike weakpoints and generally gives them a balienced body that allows them to respond in heated situations better then a less fit college. Agility itself is used to cover aspects associated to how to use hand/eye coordination to land shots, estimate distances and hide. mass, coordination, stealth, all gunplay is related to the aspect of agility.

 

Thus I don't really see any real need to muddy the waters with "A guy that solely uses hand/eye coordination to delieve melee attacks", since after all even if a guy is using an accient sword using the Lightsaber skill from force and destiny, without some physical brawn or enhancement of the weapon itself it would do very little damage. If anything, the guy is probably nerfing himself quite hard because melee has far fewer applications then a good ranged check. The only reason lightsaber checks usually get away with this is that a lightsaber doesn't need personal strength to inflict great damage, though even then I would recommend that any force senstive LS weilder intending to be a frontliner should have a healthy brawn anyways of at least 3 to actually give some personal stamina.

 

That being said if he had weapons designed for his use then that would be interesting. One option might be to house rule some weapons that inflict a fixed damage rating. Lightsabers are the most famous example, but there have been weapons such as repulsor fists, sonic drills and kattle prods that inflict a fixed damage. Potentially one could develop a specialised weapon that is designed to hit a particilar area, a varient of shock gloves can be used to inflict damage in such a manner. Or needles. Needless to say I wouldn't expect one to "use hand eye coordination" to just wield any weapon. Electrostaffs, Vibroaxes and the like really need physical condictioning to weild the weapon properly otherwise they wouldn't be able to direct the weapons strength properly. Again, Brawn is physical condictioning and personal agility, being fit allows you to direct your strength more conherently.

 

Alternatively, one can buy ranks in melee without the brawn. Donno why anyone would want to do that though unless they really liked the flavour or had a really well modified weapon, since again damage is based off brawn. Vibrorapiers are good for that since they ignore up to 5 soak, even more if he monoedges it (though really 5 is enough to punch through most mundane threats.

 

Otherwise, he can just take a blaster. Blasters are generally more adaptable and used for a reason, it's a personal sidearm that just works no matter how poor a shot you are.

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I'd be very, very reluctant to allow something like this (bah, I tell a lie; I would never allow something like this). Suddenly everyone will have a really good reason why their favourite combat skill should be assigned to their highest characteristic, and if you allowed it for one player you really can't disallow it for the others without giving preferential treatment to the first PC. Like 2P51 said, this reeks of powergaming. Let the player increase his skill to 5 ranks, and if he wants to be even better he can use Dedication to pump his Brawn characteristic or get some cybernetics or armour attachments that boosts Brawn.

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Thanks, guys. Unless he insists, I'm going to put this down. And even if he does, I'll only let him have it for Melee, as vibroswords don't need much strength to be deadly. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, because he's never tried to scam me or powergame the table. But also, like you guys said, Agility already covers a heck of a lot.

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I'd stick with RAW on this, especially on something that is important to the mechanics of the game.  This isn't a matter of whether a weapon or vehicle is OP or well balanced, this is a matter of changing a mechanic to better suit a narrative.

 

Now for Pandora's Box: If he insists, create a custom skill called "Whatever Works" that uses Agility to roll.  The base Damage comes from the opponent's Brawn plus uncanceled Successes in the form of Strain.  If he wants to cause Wound damage, he'll have to use Melee, Brawl, etc..

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